The D-Days of 2012

I never did my yearly review and reflections in a specific way. The 1st 2 years I did it by listing my new year’s resolutions, while for last year, I just recapped on what made my year happy. This WordPress has really come a long way, and at this generation who can proudly say that they have kept to 1 blogging platform for such a long period of time! I was always thinking how I wrapped out my year in a post, and so I decided to end it this way, inspired by a K-drama which I recently watched and loved, Reply 1997! During 1 episode (if I recall it was Episode 7 or 8 where all the main took their final exams), there was this mention about D-Days, which gave me the idea for this post.

d-day

Hands down my top K-drama for 2012!

Kim Yuna lived on the ice rink 12 years for four minutes and 10 seconds at the Olympics. For this test, we waited, ran, and prepared for 12 years. August 18, 1998. Our D-Day was passing by like that.

You could say that the ultimate D-Day of my life have already past in 2011 when I took my A Level examinations, 12 years of studying down to those few hours worth of papers (but I don’t want to touch on that subject anymore). But other than the major exams, everyone of us had our own D-Days in our own lives, big or small. 2012 was quite a mixed year for me, many good and bad things have happened to me. It didn’t felt as fast as 2011, as the days at Tekong passed really slowly. This year has been an emotional roller coaster, but although it may sound bad, it has thought me to appreciate the small moments in my life and the life lessons which i can learn from them. (Again, they may sound repetitive, so I’ll try my best to make it sound nicer.)

March 2 2012… The day all 18-year old JC students were waiting for, getting back their A-level results. Although the constant thought about it wouldn’t change the results, the small possibility of flunking was still up there. I knew that I was going to do alright since I mugged like crazy for the past year, but how well? I didn’t really expect such good results, but it was a testament of how hard I worked for. Like I said, there wasn’t much to worry. My first choice course was going to be Maths, which doesn’t require that excellent grades. It was more about the worry that if the grade were lousy, my future would be jeopardized as I could not get a good job and would lead to a snowball effect. Of course, having scored so well felt great, but even if I was to do badly, the me today and the me before would still be the same. Life waits for no one, life goes on. Does that piece of paper means that I would be made for life in the future? No, it merely opened up many paths for me, but in every path I still would have to work hard to reach the end-point. Okay I already talked about regarding this on my previous posts and  I hate harping on the topic of studies, so moving on…

March 6 2012… The day which I knew was coming sooner or later but never wished would happened. After receiving my results just a few days ago, in an early Tuesday morning I took the bus and boat to Tekong and only to come back 3 weeks after going through confinement. In a flash, I was now in the army, wearing green for the next 2 years. I never knew how it was going to be like in there, so I was expecting many cultural shocks going there. Turns out army wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but nonetheless the transition to military life was hard. I never really treasured my civillian life until then, and now I just want my pink IC back and want to have nothing to do with the army (14 months to go c’mon rawr!). No one likes any changes in their lives, but every Singaporean guy got forced into this shithole. I made many friendships on that island as well, and although we only spent 4 months together, imagine 5 days a week where we go through shit together, and slack together in our small bunk, along with the nightly HTHT. And during that period of time, book outs felt the best as you really appreciate the things around you. Now, every book in and book out feels like a vicious cycle, and every weekend burned is a super burden to our more and more uneventful time outside in civilization. During our recruit times, it was like a must to do something eventful during every book out before going back in but now, it’s like a part of life and you just get used to it. Life as a recruit went on for 4 months, with training week after week and finally, we were ready to march the hellish 24km down to the Marina Platform.

July 9 2012… The day where we turned into “men”. I don’t really believe in any of the army shit where we defend the country etc, but at last we’re getting out of the shitty island. There was this sense of pride marching into the Marina Platform, but now I think of it, it’s like “Meh, whatever… it was just the start of a shitty 2 years in NS”. If they really wanted to help us “celebrate”, they wouldn’t make us suffer and let us march 24km carrying a shitload of stuff. Hell just call some buses for us to the platform and let us do our parade. Putting aside the pain we suffered, overall the parade was okay, but after which I was just tired and smelly. The block leave after that for me was a little waste as compared to the leave I was enjoying last week, as half of the time I was lying on my bed resting my poor feet and legs. So what have I learnt about the army? Yeap it’s stupid LOL (sorry for being so anti-SAF, but I think most Singaporean guys think this way). There are some life lessons learnt through my journey as a recruit and my time serving in the army which I will take back, and I think by the time I got back my pink IC, I would have matured much more and become a better person. I could have gone through another period of being a cadet if I had gone to OCS/SCS, but I don’t think I would make it through another 6/9 months of just suck thumb and do blindly things as instructed. But I shall just take life as it goes, I could have been in much worse places so I shall be contented with what I have!

July 14 2012… Okay this may sound like a random date but to me, it’s something significant. No one except for one would have an idea on what happened during this day, but it was a start of yet another lesson of self-discovery. On this day, I did something which I never, ever would have thought of doing, and just thinking about it makes me feel oh so freaking embarrassed *hides under blanket*. It was a big step forward in my life, and with all the dust finally setting down, with a composed mindset I can finally talked about this topic more comfortably. Of course there are many questions I ask myself when I look back into this: Should I have done it differently? Should I have even done it at all in the first place? How would it have been if I done it at a later date? But what’s done is done, you cannot change the past. Now after going through all of that, I feel like a big rock was lifted off of me. It just wasn’t meant to be and I was too simple-minded to think that all would work out smoothly. Okay I shall elaborate on this topic in another post, but overall, since it turned out to be like this, just take it as a lesson in life and move on. I’m too young to let this thing put me down, and there are still many chances out there and perhaps the one who would be the right one for me would come at the correct time.

October 21 2012… The day I tested my physical limits. You never know how capable you are if you don’t try, so I decided to try out a 10km run to see if I could achieve finishing that distance. Although the run was a total killer to the legs, it felt extremely good to finish it, especially to finish it under an hour during your first try. Seeing my age group, there were many younger guys who ran faster than me, but to me it’s a personal thing which I wanted to try and see for myself if I could really do it, so the position didn’t matter. At this age, it seems like you need to be good at something if you enjoy it; for example if you enjoy soccer you would naturally be good at it. However, running to me isn’t something where I must be the best, it’s more of a personal challenge which I set to myself. After the last dash, I myself realize there’s a bit more in myself than I think, and that comes when you really push yourself. Of course timing is important as an indication to whether you’re improving, but I have really enjoyed the process of myself running. Now I feel much fitter, and it has indirectly monstrously helped my 2.4 timing as well even though I have been running much longer distance. The decision to start running has benefitted myself immensely and now with regular runs, it has keep my body in good shape since some of the long-distance runs which I do cancels out the pigging out of buffets and high-calorie snacks during the weekends.

There are some things that I would have loved to touched on for this year-in review, but I would just cover the more important ones which have made an considerable impact on my 2012. So I realized I never did a new year’s resolution list last year, so I’ll end this post with a few simple things in mind which I hope to achieve in 2013.

1) Maintain SILVER for IPPT

2) Run more to achieve the following targets – 52:00 for 10km, 1:55 for 21km, and lastly complete in any way a full marathon (even if I have to crawl my way to the finish line LOL)

3) Focus and study more of my Korean (no more procrastinating)

4) Post more in this WordPress, and revamp the whole thing if I am able to find the time.

5) Go out more often and waddle less at home on my bed with my laptop  (I need to have a better social life .__.”)

6) Get my driver’s license and drive my family out (so that my mom does not need to drive me all the time .__.””)

7) Improve myself as a person overall throughout the year 2013

Okay 7 things for this year. Kept it much more simple as compared to my previous resolutions and many things can fall under number 7. So that’s a wrap for 2012. Thanks for the memories and roller-coaster ride, and 2013 is going to move like a coal-powered train from the 70s, slowly given the miserable status that I’m under now (le NSF), but shall not wallow in pity because every other guy has gone through this stage at 1 point of his life, so in a flash I would have 2 months left to ORD and I can start to countdown from there. Until March 5 2014 aka ORD date comes, just take life simply as it goes and may I fill 2013 with many happy and memorable moments! :))

OFF-TOPIC: SNSD’s I Got A Boy comeback stage is absolutely awesome DAEBAK!!! Everything from the singing to the dance is super polished and during the live performances the girls are just brilliant. *fanboy mode back on* (rapes replay button~)

snsdigob1

Right now, it’s Girl’s Generation!!!

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Conquering As, and more

I realised that I blogged A LOT regarding me studying for the stupid A-level exams, but never really consolidated my thoughts into 1 post. So this would be my final post regarding this and I can finally put a close into this chapter of life. For those who are taking their A-levels soon or in a few years, this is just a recount of my experience taking the exams and what went right/wrong for me, which you might want to read if you want a perspective of how your 2 years will be. (sorry again for the repetitiveness of this topic ><)


Just a piece of paper with random alphabets on it LOL

AAAAD, with PW that’s 5As. It’s not straight As, but with that score I can go to any course that I wanted to go in. At first, this score didn’t seem really much relatively in school, with many scoring 6,7, and 8As. But when I went to BMT and SI, I found out many would die for my grades. Some didn’t even got a single A, or worse not even a B. I was proud to said that I did my best, no regrets, even the stupid D in GP will make me need to do English modules. Many others probably have many regrets, such as not studying hard enough etc, so I’m definitely contended with what I achieved, not simply because my results were good, it’s because I knew that I did my best and gave it my all, so there was little that I could have changed regarding the outcome. The main reason that I was happy with my results wasn’t because that they were As, but throughout my 2 years in JC, achieving these grades has thought me much more. Especially in the Singaporean society where results are expected from you and looked upon a lot, many cracked under the pressure and didn’t manage to do their best. Both of my parents, especially my mother, are no exception. My dad considered me as one who was “academically challenged”, and didn’t really expect much from me, while my mom just wanted me to be able to go into a university, so I was fortunate to not have been pressured so much as compared to some of my schoolmates. Getting such results really made them happy, and for the first time in a long time, I was glad I didn’t let them down and actually made them feel proud of me. If there are people who you don’t want to disappoint, the top of the list would be your parents, since you owe them so much. *stares at my sister* Ok you beat my PSLE score, try scoring better than me in the As HAHA! 😛

I was also pessimistic whether studying hard will equate to results. But after the exams, I’m a believer total believer. If you think you can’t do it, then you will never be able to do it. Nothing is free in the world, if you want something, you got to work hard for it. There is no shortcut to success, but since people expect so much from us, many try to find these shortcuts. “There are no such things as dumb people, only people who are lazy.” I remembered this quote from Ban Ki-moon while watching YongSeo. People who don’t do well naturally give up and pushing the blame to lousy teachers/notes/ themselves not being “smart” enough. Keep this in mind, you are not born dumb. Sure, you may take more time to learn and understand things, but don’t use it as an excuse and give up easily. I’m a slow learner myself, as exhibited during BMT where I had a 1 hour personal session with Sgt Wenbo in rifle assembling and my constant SOC screw-ups. During my Signals course, I didn’t study at all and got below average scores (but good enough to pass), which shows what could have possibly happened for As if I didn’t get that wake-up call (which I’m seriously forever grateful for). Many like to tease me about being a smarty-pants due to my results. I never, ever considered myself a smart guy. I see myself as simply someone whose hard work paid off. The first thing you need to realise is that only you can help yourself, and if you have given up, you lost the battle already. Believe in yourself that you can do it, and half the battle is won already. Drill that new mentality into your head, and do what you have to do to achieve your goals. For myself, I always used the brick wall analogy and apply it to anything I face in life. If you want something, show it how badly you want it.

Regarding the studying part, I didn’t exactly mug my ass off for those grades (as many thought I did), it was more of studying smart and consistency. I was watching K-videos and poker videos during the exams period, not to mention the K-dramas and variety shows I watched. You can’t study all the time, so do reward yourself with breaks. Most importantly, as hard as it may seem, studying can be an enjoyable thing. Head to your favorite mugging place along with a friend or two, plug in your earphones with some awesome music, equipped with pens and highlighters and you are all set to go! I talked with many teachers since a group of people I know didn’t do well and I had to point out their problems. Most force themselves to study, which shows the importance of finding your area of passion in university so that you won’t find studying a chore. Some lack focus, so if you are going to do something, might as well do it properly. Do it once, do it well. There isn’t really a fool-proof method on acing exams, as everyone has their own way/style of studying. Your 2 years in JC is going to fly fast, and remember that your results come in first priority. Don’t compromise it, or it will haunt you forever. I learnt a lot a hell lot about myself and the virtues of life that simply was there, just that I didn’t follow. How “enriching” your life is not determined by your social circle/your results/the things you have. Life is all about improving yourself, and finding joy and happiness along the way. (But of course unless you’re a Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, I suggest sticking to studying no matter how much you may hate it)

When you think like you can’t do it and just give up (this applies to anything in life), sometimes you just have to ignore all these negative thoughts which only make things worse, be more positive and put this optimism into your actions, and say: “I can do it, watch me!”

Results? What results? =P

And after As finished, you thought the day would never come… Well hell no, it’s coming in a week. 7 DAYS! sigh

With more than half of the guys in the army (I will talk about the army in another post), I got really a lot of time in hand with basically little/nothing to do (because lazy me didn’t go find a decent job =.=). And when you’re alone, you really start to think a lot: The past, the present, the future, basically anything to kill your boredom. These thoughts (for me) start to change to WordPress posts (since this is the only avenue for me to express myself, I’m not really the journal type of person). I never really thought about the As, since I was doing so much other stuff with the other guys before they went to the army. Nowadays, I spend my time alone, going to Starbucks to read a book, or maybe venture around Orchard like an awe-stricken tourist (yes Orchard seems like a new place to me LOL). The one thing the army guys told me is that army thought them who to treasure the normal life. Well, I always try to do that, but when you are really going to the army, you really just enjoy anything you do on the sunny island Singapore. From walking on the streets, jogging around Kembangan, to even being at your home, yeah these kinds of things you would definitely start to miss when you’re in the army. Going a little off-topic, back on topic. During this month, I met up with the remained “survivors” a couple of times, mostly for dinner. I still recalled that we were joking during dinner that results day was in 3 weeks, and when we meet again for dinner the week after, it’s 2 weeks. Newsflash, it’s now only a week.

I always try to tell myself this: Results aren’t everything, there is more to life than those grades on a piece of paper. But truth be told, those grade are actually the most important thing in our current 18 years on Mother Earth. It basically decides your future. Perhaps it’s the Asian culture where there is a lot of emphasis on grades, that’s why I’m feeling antsy no reason these few days =.=”. Although people tell me that I’ll do fine, I don’t really believe that because I REALLY REALLY burned out at the end. It has been 6 years since I took a major exam. and PSLE didn’t really came out well for me. Hell, I was candidate for top PSLE student in my school but in the end I didn’t make it to the top 10 and end up being the person entering Dunman High with the worst and ugliest PSLE score. That’s where I probably lost all my confidence, since I didn’t really deserve to be in DHS. I had DSA to DHS before PSLE, but if I recalled correctly I didn’t really slack and still put in my best for PSLE like the little Maths-loving nerd I was back then. Maybe I was meant to be in DHS. During the school visit to DHS on CNY, Mr Chang asked us if we regretted joining DHS. Well I didn’t really have a choice right? Maybe because I was from an all-guys school, so the thought of a mixed school really irked me. (But now puberty strikes and we mature, things are much different now :X) Things would have been so much different if I went on the normal O-Level 4 year programme (I probably wouldn’t have such a fruitful Year 4 experience, as substantiated by the lack of excitement in my Year 6 life ha) and went on to a different JC. Although my Senior High life I would say is an really enriching experience (the changes in attitude, playing in an ensemble, rocking in a band, even the mugging sessions), you can’t really enjoy the school life when there is the existence of a major exams. That why I CAN’t FIGURE why people miss school. I mean, you want to go through the whole torture of taking the As again, although I won’t deny that schooling is the best times of anyone’s life. Nothing much to worry, and studies seem to be an easier task then being out there in the cruel world and earning a salary. (going off-topic again sheesh). I always think if I would excel in other JCs since half my SH teachers sucked, but there are the rare teachers who are willing to go the extra mile to help the student. Respect and hats off to these teachers. There are many teachers I do not want to let down, since they put in so much effort to help us but later at the end, nothing comes out. True, most of them would say that results don’t matter, but you do want to repay their efforts by showing them the shiny A grade beside the subject they taught you. Unlike some teachers who mends their blog shop, ask us to go take As on the other year and keep nagging at us… *cough cough*. At the end, I just wonder if all of the “effort” (if I actually did put in any ~.~) would be in vain. The infamous 10 Econs essays I write every week which got me infamous in Learner’s Lodge LOL, the many Prelim papers you did, the consultations you found and crammed especially before the start of the As, the mugging sessions in school, the Learning Center, NLB, Starbucks and Subways and the things you sacrifice to study (my K-dramas and SNSD’s comeback LOL). In the end, would your efforts be shown on that result slip? Sometimes it doesn’t, which sucks so much. I always believe that effort would translate into results, but the harsh reality is that it’s not always the case, ok maybe 90%, but what happens if my results turn out to be that 10%? Shit happens (and especially to me .__.)

You always to look at the other side of the puzzle (or coin or whatever analogy you can think of). Even if I really flunked As and get into a lousy course, it’s really not the end of the world. I still have my family and my friends, who are the people that reminds you why it is so awesome to be alive. Ok, maybe in the future I won’t get a good pay and would have to wait 20 years to afford a car, but that’s isn’t really anything. Maybe I would emo for a few days, go into army and continuing to emo, come out and emo, which is really a pitiful scenario LOL, but hopefully I would be able to recover from being such a lousy student. Reminds me of the movie 那些年 where me and my sis recently watched (Maybe it’s because of my lousy Chinese, but watching a movie is so much better than reading the book), the girl said that she only knew to study and study, and in the end she didn’t do well. Kinda sounds like me… No idea why I’m so negative about As. For the past night, I have been imagining how the day would be itself (explains the insomnia >.<): Wake up, shower, go on lappy to check FB/Twitter/9gag/allkpop, go to school, meet up with teachers and friends, Dr. Foo comes out and talk a bunch of crap which I probably won't listen because I'm too nervous and at any time going to shit in my pants, wait to collect results, collect results. FIN. It's either 🙂 or :(. Oh, and perhaps have class dinner during the evening and have a nice chat, after which in my 3 days before army, SQUEEZE ALL THE UNI APPLICATIONS (that's if my grades allow me to do so).

I always like to read back on my WordPress posts, so this is a little message to myself: No matter how the results would turn out, all I can say is that I tried my best. No point thinking about it or regretting, because I won't do anything to your grades. Don't compare my results to others and their straight As because I am not them. In the case where I do well, keep my mouth shut and be humble, and don't be an asshole and go run around the hall dancing to Tell Me Your Wish when there are people out there who might have not done well. Don't ask for grades, just ask "Are you satisfied with your grades?". IT doesn't if it's straight As or ABBB, as long as you are satisfied, that is really good enough. You do not always need to get to perfection. And lastly, don’t let those mere letters get you down or your ego up.

I just read finished Ellen’s new book, maybe you would notice in the tone and style of this post, and that this is written more of a first person POV and hope that anyone (if anyone actually comes here) can put themselves in my shoes after reading what I think. Till then, the next post I go!

7 FREAKING DAYS, STRESS AHHHHH!!!!!!!!!